Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Lesson Learned by Mom

We woke up this morning to TONS os Snow...and the schools called it a SNOW DAY. So we decided to make the best of it.
With Scout on my back, I took this awesome self portrait of us. If anyone knows of any "Hottest Mom of the Year" contests, will you please let me know?

Bug was the Biggest snow boy. He played the hardest and had a blast. He only had to go inside once for an immediate changes of gloves.

Mooch. Please note: Booger coming down his face. And his eyes. Oh, wait. You can't see his eyes. I was pretty sure he couldn't see much of what was going on around him for most of the time. It was hilarious.

Lesson Learned:
William has been obsessed with a toy he got for Chrsitmas. It is called Martian Matter. This toy is a "refil toy." Whenever the "Lunar Lava" runs out, you have to run to the closet Target or Toy'R'Us and buy more of the precious commodity.
When Grandpa Geoff came to town, he realized that William was "in charge" of all of the Martian Matter, becasue, well, it was his. He was doing an awesome job of sharing, but Grandpa Geoff decided to pick up some extra Lunar Lava just for Jake.
Later at dinner, William, completely out of the blue, says, "that was nice of you to buy Jake Lunar Lava, Grandpa."
The seed had been planted. William wanted to follow Grandpa's example.
The next day, all of William's coins were counted over and over again. We soon realized that he did not have enough money to buy Jakey the whole Martian Matter playset, but he could buy Jake a refil.
We counted our coins again...and again.
He lovingly placed $5 worth of coins into a ziploc baggie and we headed down to Target.
O.K. This is not just like $5 that he has earned in the last two weeks. Rather, it has taken him over two years to earn each of these coins. We are not big "allownace" people and the boys really only recieve money when I happen to have a little change here and there, or sometimes they can "earn" it. Last Summer William sold some of his drawings at our garage sale.
Suffice it to say, this money has been a long time coming.
We finally arrived at the Martain Matter aisle. I asked William what one he wanted to buy for his brother. He couldn't decide. I told him that we could get both of them. William told me that he couldn't afford both. I said that I could buy one and he could buy one. He didn't want to do that. He wanted only to buy what he could afford. He picked out the blue and yellow Lunar Lava and we headed for the check-out.
The somewhat nice, young, teenage girl waited somewhat impatiently for us to count our coins. As we were counting the coins, I felt tears come to my eyes. "Why can't I just pay the money for him, " I thought. "This is so much money for him...but not much money for me." "He is doing something nice, he shouldn't have to use his own money."
That's when it hit me.
These are the moments that I must use restraint.
Yes, I could pay the money for him. Yes, it would be easier for me to swipe my credit card than to count little silver coins. Yes, it would be easier...but it would be a travesty. I silently thought to myself that maybe God has cried those same tears for me as he watches me struggle through a hard time alone, knowing that he could take the struggle so easily from me. How many times did my parents let me do it on my own?
I will never forget something that my mom told me when I was 18 years old. I had graduated high school and had been toying around with the idea of continuing to play soccer in college. After meeting with the University of Utah coach, I knew that I didn't want to play. I wanted to move on. My mom later told me that it was so hard to watch me make that decsion. She knew that soccer was something that I loved so much. But I had to do what I felt I needed to do.
I guess Heavenly Father gives us our children young for a reason. That way, we can learn to deal with little heart aches and that as they continually grow bigger and stronger, so also does our capacity to let our children grow and let go.
William needed to do this on his own. It was his way of seperating himself from me. His independence. And yes...he didn't need me. Well, he did use me for my car.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Grandpa Came to Town

My dad was supossed to fly back with the kids and I from Utah to help me out. As a result of our flight cancellation, he didn't need to fly back with us...however, that doesn't mean we still didn't need him to come out. We always need a good visit from our Grandpa Geoff.

Since we missed Christmas at his house, he brought his Christmas to us. Our stocking and all. When he pulled it out of his suitcase, I couldn't help but laugh. Anybody that knows my dad, knows that he has seriously softened up. I could never have pictured him packing our family stcocking up in his bag and stuffing presents inside. The kids loved it. He had to pack an extra bag JUST for our presents. Thanks dad!

Grandpa bought the boys the cutest Family Home Evening snacks ever.

Grandpa soon found out that no cry of Scout's couldn't be cured with a snorting pig imitation.

This was an everyday. Constant. Never Ending. Wrestling? Who? Us?

Scout hasn't seen her Grandpa since she was two months old. She has grown so big.

What? Grandpa? Bucking Bronco? He never seemed to tire of the excitement.

Oh yeah. He wasn't all laughs. He found great excitement at making Scout cry while wearing a Shark mask and making scary noises. For some unkown reason, he enjoys causing fear.

Oh, yeah. Let's not forget the shaving cream and fake razors lovingly wrapped up in our stockings. Mommy Loves it. All over my bathroom. Every mothers dream.
And by the end of the day...we were all due for a nice little nap

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Five Dollars

We were hit with a crazy snowstorm on Saturday. It was great. We all went outside and played. James and I shoveled the snow (I, with Naomi on my back) while the boys built the tallest snow mountain ever. It made me realize that I do miss my Utah snow.
So, five dollars. It doesn't sound like much. Yesterday, James decided that we needed to have a "Date Night." Our date nights have turned into a movie and special treat after the kids go to bed. I sent James off to rent a movie while trying to get the kids into bed. As soon as he walked into the door, he said, "I'm sorry." Why? "I got "Mama Mia." I thought that you would like it. And then it hit me. He went to BLOCKBUSTER! "Is that a new release?" He nodded. And then I lost it. "You spent $5 on a movie?" "$5?" "$5!" He was speechless. I was irate. He put his head between his arms and asked if I wanted him to take it back. I again, was speechless. "How could you spend $5 on a movie," I asked?
"Honey, I thought that you would like it." "There was nothing else I saw that you would like." "I sat in the video store for 5 minutes deciding whether or not to get it, and then I thought, "Jessie will like this movie." I should have felt like a jerk, but I was too mad at the $5 we no longer had. In my head, I went through a list of what I could have spent that $5 on. A new winter hat for my baby, a pair of Clearance priced Spiderman shoes for Jake, a refil for Williams' Martian Matter Christmas present that he really, really wants; but most of all, I could get a Super Value meal at Wendy's.
Suffice it to say, the night was ruined. There was no Mama Mia, and special treat (James had already prepared a surprise for our date night). There was nothing.
A few weeks ago I called and told my mom that James didn't care that I wasn't feeling well. Her response. "Oh, dear. I am going to have to buy James an extra Christmas present this year." "What," I retorted? "Poor James, she continued...he has to put up with so"
I told James I needed a night to sleep on our little $5 movie fiasco.
By the time Scout woke me up at 5:00 A.M., I had a good half night's sleep behind me. The verdict...I was completely humiliated by myself. Why couldn't I have just jumped up, threw my arms around his neck and kissed him. I should have felt lucky that he thinks a date with me is worth a $5 movie! Perhaps my mom was right. Poor James does have to put up with a lot. But is it really a lot?
I am pretty sure that this is the first, and only time I have ever been in the wrong. That's once in almost 8 years. Sorry honey, but those are some pretty good odds!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Home for the Holidays

The boys gave their BEST effort to stay up and wait for Santa.
We made a bed by the fireplace and waited...and waited...
By 10:00 P.M... they were out.
By 11:00 P.M. the presents were wrapped and I was out...
James was at the hospital all night.

The boys woke up and were surprisingly patient waiting for James to come home. We ate breakfast...waited...shook all of our presents...waited...and talked about what they could be.
James came throught the door by 10:00 A.M. The party started.

The kids know that each year they only get three wrapped gifts under the Christmas tree...for that's how many baby Jesus received.
William has been crying about this for a month now. He keeps yelling, "I am changing our family rule. We get more than three presents under the tree. It's not fair."
They get stocking stuffers and this year we even gave them a present on Christmas Eve...but as for wrapped presents under the's three.
Amazingly, everyone got what they wanted and William even said, "this is the Best Christmas Ever."
Poor Scout...she only got one present. I somehow don't think she noticed.

Trauma began when we packed our bags and headed for Utah the next day.
We waited in the airport for 8 hours until they decided to cancel our flight. We all cried.
We waited in long lines of angry, crying people trying to see what they could do for us. It is so funny in a situation like this becasue every single person asks the very same question...all hoping to get a different response. Well..we got the same response as everyone else. They could get us out on Tuesday.
Considering James had to be at the hospital on Friday, it wasn't worth the money...or the stress.
Oh wait. THey did book a bus, that would have cost $50 extra per person. So, another $200 for us. The bus would have taken us to Chicago, however, there was no gaurantee that they could get us out of Chicago. That sounded fun...with three kids and 5 million pieces of luggage and three car seats. We would have taken up the whole bus..and then have no ride back home.
The kids were beside themselves about not seeing their cousins...and we promised them a water park the next day.
After finding out that the waterpark we had promised would have cost $185...we quickly looked for alternatives.
We found a local indoor pool with slides and fountains and the whole works. We all Loved it.

They did have one adult slide that the kids couldn't go down. I decided to try it. As I put my tube down and waited the the signal, I thoguht, "I gave this up when I decided to have kids six years ago." James and I don't do theme parks and waterparks very often...I guess never since we've had kids.
I got down the slide and swam over to James and the kids. I told James that I had the thought that we never do stuff like that anymore. I said, "I gave up that part of myself when I had kids."
James wanted to try it.
He came down the slide...swam over to us and said,
"I'd rather have kids."

Considering our whole week of "Family Bonding Time,"

He had plenty of time to play wth our new Christmas toys.

We went to the Cleveland Science Center. There was a fun ball pit for the kids. I don't know if they have ever played on one. I remeber my dad taking me down to Liberty Park and I used to LOVE the ball pit down there. My kids loved it just as much as I did when I was a kid. Going back is a must. Maybe tomorrow.

We also went to the Cleveland Natural History Museum. They had some hands on kids stations in the basement. We were in heaven.

Before we got to the Kid's Zone, our boys were about as interested as I was...
Actually, they really did enjoy it. Probably more than I did. Luckily, they take after James and have some interest in things besides shopping.

One of my favorite things we did was take the boys ice skating. It was William's school night at the rink and we saw many of his friends. We got a babysitter for Naomi and took an extra friend, Adam along. It was a blast.

Three kids who can't keep themselves in the upright position= serious laughs (for mom)

William and his friend, Adam (we car pool to school together)

And of course...what would Winter Break be without practicing some Yoga downward dog.

We are so grateful for this week to have been together. Every day I talk to my mom...I get a little bit sad. I hear noises and laughter in the background and think "I should be there."
With that said, this has been a magical week for our little family. We have gone out and explored something fun each day. The kids are getting along great and love each other. Nothing is better than spending time with the ones you love...and isn't that what Christmas is all about?
It was a perfect Christmas Vacation.